The following is an interesting article written byÂ Ford Motor CompanyÂ for its employees.Â It was presented by the “Ford Interfaith’ group as a message about theÂ LDS Church.
The Ford Interfaith group promotes unity by sharing information about all faiths andÂ features these types of articles about various religions and faiths.
Quick Facts & Interesting Tidbits about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Named “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’; informalÂ nicknames are “LDS’ or “Mormon’ -named after the prophet-historian
- Believes it is the Lord’s restoration of original Christianity asÂ foretold to occur before Christ’s Second Coming.
- Core focus is that Christ and His teachings bring happiness in thisÂ life and exaltation in the next.
- In 1820 14-yr-old Joseph Smith told of a vision of God and ChristÂ foretelling a church restoration.
- Â Organized in New York in 1830, the church moved to near Cleveland, thenÂ near Kansas City, then Illinois.
- Fleeing continued mob attacks 158 years ago, the first MormonÂ pioneers desperately started their Westward trek from Illinois in the deadÂ of winter. Of the 70,000 who began this 1300-mile journey, 6,000 wereÂ buried along the way, including many children.
- Mormon pioneers founded Salt Lake City in Utah andÂ over 600 other Western communities after fleeing Illinois.
SALT LAKE CITY
- Temple Square in Salt Lake has over 5 million annual visitors, moreÂ than the Grand Canyon.
- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the world’s most famous choir and has theÂ world’s oldest radio program.
- The Salt Lake Temple is the most famous, but there are 128 otherÂ temples built here and around the world whileÂ others are under construction.
- Home of the world’s largest genealogy database; visit it online orÂ through 3,700 free branch libraries.
- Sunday services entail a three-hour block of three meetings; aboutÂ 27,000 congregations exist worldwide.
- Highly vibrant programs exist for youth, children, singles, men, andÂ women; very strong family focus.
- Everyone has a calling; some surveys show LDS have the highest U.S.Â attendance and service rates.
- Families receive personal fellowship visits at home from other membersÂ on a monthly basis.
- Members tithe 10 percent, plus donate generously to the needy the firstÂ Sunday of each month.
- Clergy and all other congregational positions are unpaid (however, muchÂ of the janitorial is paid).
- The church has no debt; all buildings are paid for in cash (average ofÂ two new congregations a day).
- The paid positions in Salt Lake are famously low-salaried; funds areÂ frugally used and tightly audited.
- With a health code from 1833, LDS avoid alcohol, tobacco, illegalÂ drugs, coffee, and tea (herbal tea is ok).
- This 1833 code also teaches grains (especially wheat), fresh fruits andÂ vegetables, and sparing use of meat.
- A UCLA study showed that active LDS live longer than most Americans,Â men by 11 years, women by 8.
- Utah is 50th in smoking, alcohol consumption, drunk driving, heartÂ disease, cancer, and sick days.
- With four colleges, Utah ‘s BYU with 30,000 students is the largestÂ single-campus private college.
- BYU Independent Study with 130,000 students is North America (340 webÂ courses, 530 via mail).
- Seminary, a daily class usually held around 6:00 A.M., serves 376,000Â high school students.
- There are Institutes of Religion at 1,950 colleges worldwide that serveÂ 367,000 college students.
- The church operates schools in parts of the Pacific Ocean and MexicoÂ for 10,000 students.
- Utah is 50th in spending per pupil, but first in adults that graduatedÂ from high school and attended college.
- In 1842 the “Relief Society’ was organized; it’s the largest women’sÂ organization in the world.
- Wyoming was first to allow women to vote; Utah was second, two monthsÂ later, in 1870.
- Women preach from the pulpit and serve as organization presidents,Â teachers, committee chairs, etc.
SHARING CHRIST’S GOOD NEWS
- 61,000 missionaries serve in 165 countries; 93 percent are college-age;Â 22 percent are female.
- Unpaid and paying their own way, most work 65 hours a week for twoÂ years, often in a new language.
- LDS are 70 percent of Utah, 30 percent of Idaho; after Catholics, LDSÂ are the largest sect in 10 states.
- The church has 5.5 million members in the U.S., making it the fourthÂ largest individual U.S. denomination.
- Some memberships: New Zealand 95k, Japan 115k, UK 175k, PhilippinesÂ 500k, Brazil 900k, Mexico 925k.
- Worldwide 51 percent are female; about 55 percent are not Caucasian;Â about 70 percent are converts.
- For the last 15 years, every day an average of 800+ people worldwideÂ joined the LDS church.
- Half of the growth is in Latin America, but the rate of growth isÂ highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.
- Worldwide membership just passed 12 million, a tenfold increase in 50Â years.
- In 1984 a non-LDS professor estimated 265 million members by 2080; soÂ far growth has been faster.
- As this growth has been steady, it will be the next major world religion since Islam.
- Members in need obtain welfare from the LDS Church (thus UtahÂ government welfare spending is very low).
- LDS donate time at 220 welfare storehouses or canneries and about 400 farms.
- There are 210 employment centers placing over 175,000 people annually,Â and 64 family service centers.
- The church operates 46 thrift stores, in part to provide employment forÂ the disadvantaged.
- The 61,000 missionaries spend half a day each week doing
- Over 200 million pounds of food, clothing, and medicine were donatedÂ in the last 20 years in 147 countries.
- Almost all of this help is to non-LDS; LDS charities also work with andÂ donate to many non-LDS charities.
- Very rapid disaster relief has been given in 144 major disasters since 1986.
- Almost 3,000 welfare “missionaries’ work without pay in 55 countriesÂ (farm instructors, doctors, teachers, etc…).
- LDS charities fund a wide variety of projects like drilling water wellsÂ or funding small business startup loans.
- New in 2001, members in poor areas can get low-rate college loans;Â 10,000 loans have been made to date.
- Utah is first in: charitable giving, producing scientists, household computers,Â children with two parents, and birth rate.
- Noted LDS included five senators, and other famous dignitariesÂ (click on link),Â the Osmonds, Gladys Knight, SteveÂ Young, and the inventor of TV — Philo T. Farnsworth.
- LDS played a key role in the 2002 Winter Olympics; the chair was the formerÂ governor of Massachusetts.
- Hawaii ‘s #1 tourist site is the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center ( TongaÂ and the Samoas are one-third LDS).
- LDS have sponsored Boy Scout troops since 1913; 23 percent of all ScoutÂ troops are LDS.
- The BYU Women’s Cross Country were national champions or in secondÂ place each of the last seven years.
- The Detroit metro area has 30 congregations; the Dearborn chapel is onÂ Rotunda by Ford’s Building #5.
- Detroit has a temple, storehouse, cannery, employment and familyÂ service office, and family history libraries.
- LDS include former Governor Romney, three former Lions quarterbacks,Â and hundreds of Ford employees.
A member of Ford’s Interfaith Network,Â the author of this note sends out monthly interfaith notes to thousands of Ford employees who have asked to receive them.